Bill Kunkel, the pioneering video game journalist who's alter ego "The Game Doctor" appeared in the original Electronic Games magazine from the 80's as well as the 90's version, has finally returned for the 21st century as "The Game Doctor" with a regular column on the retro game site J2Games.com. It's great to see Kunkel writing regularly again. his perspective and insight into the game industry is both unique and refreshing. J2Games.com started last last year. Recently Bill Kunkel described his pathway to this new project this way:
I spent almost a year commuting from my current home in Southern Michigan to LA to work as editor-in-chief on Tips & Tricks. But when EGM stopped inserting blow-in cards (in other words, it's not long for this world), Flynt just gave up and kept a part-time staff to produce a couple of cheat code magazines a year. Meanwhile, I had saved enough during that year to buy the house we're in and I got an email from Jay Fennimore asking if I was interested in blogging on J2Games.
J2games.com is a very interesting site. It is both a store that sells retro and current games and game related items, but also a regular blog with regularly updated columns. Alongside Kunkel, 's column there is Gamer's Unite, Token Female , a web comic named Chris vs Everything! plus more including forums and a rarity guide. Kunkel described the site this way:
We're trying to build something new there. Most of the bloggers are professionals and we don't get the Kotaku crap, one-line comments from kids who have no idea what they're talking about. And of course, it's also a store and, among other things, I am contacting all the old 80s EG artists I can find to see about selling their original art in our soon-to-unveil online gallery.
The best part for me has to be Kunkel's column. He updates the site about three times a week with a new article from his unique perspective. Some examples of these columns have been:
- Arnie and Joyce: Part One : A heart-felt story about Kunkel's long-time friends and partners in the creation of Electronic Games magazine.
"It was Arnie and Joyce who had opened this whole world to me. To this day, Arnie and Joyce still publish fanzines, albeit e-fanzines (and you can certainly find their stuff at efanzines.com). "
- No Game Country for Old Men : Kunkel's take on the modern games coming out of the mainstream games industry.
"I've been playing videogames on a constant basis since 1972 and yet I don't feel as if most of the games being produced today are really aimed at me at all."
- Electronic Games Vs. Electronic Games : A comparison of the 80's EG to the 90's EG
"To this day, people old enough to have been around in the early 80s rhapsodize to me about their experience encountering those early issues of the original EG...So if you get a chance, check out some issues of the 90s EG and I sincerely believe you will find many areas in which it is actually better than the original."
Especially if you are a fan of OGJs (original game journalists) or simply want to participate in some very interesting discussions about games and the game industry, check out Bill Kunkel at J2Games.com, His kung fu is both accessible and immensely enjoyable to read.